A lesson in self-aggrandizement

Hire me!

People who are engaged in a job they love are truly lucky. I cannot catch a break, when it comes to a job that involves creative thinking. I’ve applied over and over for jobs in advertising agencies, newspapers, online journals, what have you. The other day, an advertisement by this company called Stark, appeared in the daily that I subscribe to.

The ad that appeared on toaday's HINDU

They wanted a 300-word advertisement, telling them why the prospective candidate should be hired. I gave them a 750-word essay, explaining all the reasons why I should NOT be hired.

This is what I wrote:

Congratulations, Team Stark. You have caught my eye.

 I would like to start by appreciating the copywriters of team-stark for the excellent advertisement, carried in today’s edition of THE HINDU. The witty and irreverent language has got me singularly interested in your organization. The fact that you are interested in WRITERS, and not high scoring graduates with diplomas in journalism and/or creative writing, speaks volumes about your enlightened mindset.

This is precisely the kind of pragmatic approach that will, with some help from me, put Stark on the top of the map, miles apart from the teeming mediocrity that is today’s advertising world. It is time to step up the game, and go from being the best in South India to being the best in the country.

I’m exactly the kind of under-achieving and smart 26-year old you need to spice things up in Stark. You have managed to avoid the single biggest mistake that recruiters make time and again – judging a person by his/her academic record, not knowing that targeted education turns humans into machines, employable only in assembly line jobs where routine, and not creativity, rules the roost.

Now, as an organization, you can understandably require me to have some sort a degree, just so that you can claim to have hired a graduate. And once again, I will not disappoint. I graduated in English Literature, and although the grades and marks I achieved are on the lower side, I can assure you that the decline is more of a reflection on the many disagreements I had with authors of the books prescribed as the syllabus, rather than laziness and/or lack of intelligence. Now obviously, a man cannot be blamed if, when asked what he thinks about the resurgence of American literature in the 20th century, he decided to write about what he thinks about it, rather than what the authors of the books he had to study thought about it.

Obviously, I don’t need to explain this to you, because you already understand. You are seeking talent. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, let me say – Seek no more.

That’s right folks. Stop looking. You have got yourself a catch.

Now go for it, before the Govt. Machinery, in whose clutches I’m caught right now, tightens its’ grasp, permanently entombing me in its’ inane and archaic folds of sloth and entitlement(If my imagery was not vivid enough, what I meant to say was that I am a salaried Govt. official who can’t stand his job).

I’m a lover of books and cinema, and any human endeavor that does not mandate the punching of a time card and keeping of regular hours as a prerequisite, gets my attention and respect.

By hiring me, you join the elite list of people/organizations, inhabited by the likes of Hardy(who discovered Ramanujam), and Penguin Publishers(who discovered J.K.Rowling)  in having discovered a peerless individual who can and will change history. Perhaps I got carried away there, just a little.  What I meant to say was, I promise you that I will at least try to come up with some decent catchphrases/jingles/slogans/scripts so you can justify the huge salary you give me.

To conclude, once again I congratulate you and myself, for this auspicious meeting which seems like a harbinger of the better times to come, not only for you, team Stark, but also for me personally. I will be enclosing a copy of my bare-bones resume for your official records, and I add a link to my excellent blog, https://nairview.wordpress.com where you can sample some of my writing and share your thoughts and insights.

It is now time to make up your minds. So hurry, offer valid only until the Govt. catches wind of my intended desertion and sinks its’ teeth in.

I’m ready to be institutionalized.

Post Script:

As a parting thought, you mentioned that Faulkner, Rushdie, Heller and Cussler began as advertising writers. I can’t help but add to that list, the auteur Satyajit Ray, who began his career working for a British advertising agency.


Not only did my ego balloon with each passing word, I concluded the advertisement by correcting their copywriters, and telling them what they missed.

It should come as a surprise to no one, that I was not called for an interview.

Lesson learned. Moving on…


11 thoughts on “A lesson in self-aggrandizement

  1. You were too clever for your own good. But the art world is weird. I am getting paid to write, but not enough to live on… or buy food even… do we do what we love even if we have to write stuff we don’t love to do it?

  2. Hello, finally I got time to read this. Yesterday my office work didn’t allow me so but today I did read it. And loved it.
    I don’t know whether you truly wrote this to the advertising agency or just of more contribution to your blog. Well no matter for whatever it was for but it was good one. Nicely written. 🙂
    Though the piece was for the reason not to hire you, they will definitely hire you now 😀

    • This was a 100% non-fictional piece. I omitted some personal details of course, but everything else was verbatim.
      It is funny you should say that, because I got a call today from Stark, and was asked to attend an interview next week. I don’t know if writing about it in the blog was what prompted them to call me up. It could have been a co-incidence. Either way, you are very perceptive.
      May be I should update my blog…

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